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We are professors of political science. The goal is not to post partisan opinions, but rather to share our academic research. Learn more. Each post reflects only its author's views.
Buyer beware: Most of our posts discuss ongoing, unpublished research. We may revise our conclusions as we continue our research.
Hear about new posts
- What Rep. Watkins teaches us about party and ideology
- Who voted “nay” the most in the 2017 Legislature?
- Who missed the most votes in the 2017 Legislature?
- Utah lawmakers loved to agree in the 2017 Legislature
- The 2017 Utah Legislature passed a record number of bills but slightly improved vetting time
Author Archives: Adam Brown
Rank-and-file legislators know which side their bread is buttered on. Political scientists have made a parlor game of calculating ideology scores for elected officials based on their voting records. The gold standard for the US Congress is the DW-NOMINATE algorithm; you … Continue reading
The House had its lowest failure rate in half a decade. As I posted earlier, the Utah Legislature is almost a bipartisan lovefest. Legislators just don’t like voting “nay.” In general, if something gets to the floor, it’s going to … Continue reading
Absenteeism declined in 2017. My previous two posts had some good news about the 2017 Legislature: Vetting time improved a little, giving the public more time to see most bills, and bipartisanship remained the order of the day. But now … Continue reading
Most bills that make it to a vote pass comfortably with bipartisan support. The partisan rancor that pervades national politics seldom reaches the Utah Legislature. Simply put, Republicans control such an overwhelming supermajority of seats that they have no need to fear … Continue reading
We’re not back to the good old days of 2007-2008, but legislators definitely did better this year at getting their bills out earlier Back in January, I heard a lot of chatter that this would be one of the busiest sessions ever. … Continue reading
On the whole, Utah has lower-than-average levels of political corruption. At length, former Utah Attorney General John Swallow is finally scheduled to face a jury this week. No matter how Swallow’s story ends, however, it marks an aberration. Federal statistics show … Continue reading
Even more so than Representatives, Senators really don’t like voting “nay.” Utah legislators don’t like voting no. Well, most of them don’t. Only 3% (House) and 1% (Senate) of floor votes held in 2016 failed, and that was consistent with past … Continue reading
The perfect attendance award goes to Rep. Michael Kennedy, the only legislator to miss zero votes. Utah Legislators had only 45 days to consider 819 bills, passing 475 of them. The Legislature moves at such a breakneck pace that falling ill … Continue reading
Two of the session’s closest Senate votes came 45 minutes apart, voting on the same bill, within an hour of adjournment, with opposite results. The Utah Legislature loves consensus. Bills seldom pass on party-line votes. Instead, votes routinely pass with both … Continue reading
Utah’s Republicans and Democrats vote together more often than they vote against each other. Last fall, House Minority Leader directed a scathing op-ed at his Republican counterparts. Near the end of the 2016 session, Utah’s legislators approved changes to the (traditionally bipartisan) … Continue reading